The Margaret River Region and the Cape to Cape Track has remarkable biodiversity, and if you visit in spring you’ll observe an abundance of wildflowers and orchids in blossom.
Wildflower season in the Margaret River Region begins at the northern end of the capes near Busselton and moves south towards Augusta as spring progresses. With this in mind, we’ve listed the top wildflower hotspots following the coastline from north to south to help you plan. And remember to leave the environment just as you found it – the picking of native flowers is strictly prohibited.
Over 2,500 species of wildflowers decorate the region in vivid colours with their delicate flowers. The colour range and combinations are amazing with the brightest of true blue, lime green, yellow, red, pink, orange, white and mauve to name just a few. The intricacy of the flowers will bewilder you, especially the orchids. Look out for these tiny yet magnificent works of art hiding where you least expect them. There are 150 species of orchid, many of which are rare and endangered. Be on the lookout for the splendid spider orchid and giant donkey orchid, which are celebrated finds amongst botanical enthusiasts.
Although there are wildflowers year round, the best time to be truly amazed at the intensity and variety of the wildflowers is from August to November. Some of the best wildflower hotspots are along the coastal walking tracks, rivers, forests and around the caves. Or better still, take a wildflower tour with a local guide.
1. LUDLOW TUART FOREST, BUSSELTON
Get there: Easy access via Tuart Drive off Bussell Highway.
See: Spider, Donkey, Enamel, Jug, Rattle Beak, Pink Fairy, White Bunny, Hare, Flying Duck and Blue Lady orchids, Verticordias, Swan River Myrtle, Trigger Plants, Coral Vine, Grass Trees.
Get there: Travel west along Busselton Bypass and turn left onto Queen Elizabeth Avenue. Continue to the carpark on the corner of Doyle Road, some 7km south of the Bypass.
Get there: The Vasse Highway and Sues Road offer the quickest and easiest access to this biodiverse area but many minor roads will also provide access to different parts of the Whicher Range.
See: Caladenia procera (Carbunup King Spider Orchid), Rattle Beak, Enamel, Coastal, Flying Duck, King-in-his-Carriage, Donkey and Jug Orchids. Kangaroo Paws, Hibbertia (Buttercups), Blue Grass Lily.
Get there: Travel towards central Busselton off Bussell Highway via Causeway Road. Turn right onto Peel Terrace and onto Layman Road. Access is off Layman Road in the Wonnerup area on the east side of Port Geographe.
See: Chapman’s Spider orchid, Cowslip Orchid, Common Donkey Orchid, Purple Enamel Orchid, Forest Mantis.
Get there: Take Caves Road to Dunsborough and then to Quedjinup. Turn left onto Yungurra Drive, then right onto Jones Road and right onto Big Rock Place.
See: A wildflower hotspot with several varieties of Spider, Mustard, Jug, Donkey and possibly the rare Dunsborough orchid. Pea Bushes, Acacias (Wattles), Hakeas, Hibertia (Buttercup).
Get there: Take Cape Naturaliste Road from the centre of Dunsborough, and turn right down Meelup Beach Road after around 5 minutes. Turn right at Meelup Beach where car parking is available. Walk on the coastal track east towards Castle Rock, or west to Eagle Bay.
See: Dunsborough and Spider Orchid, Naturaliste Nancy, One-sided Bottle Brush.
Get there: Take the beautiful drive along Cape Naturaliste Road from Dunsborough. 10-15 minutes brings you to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, where car parking is available.
See: Hovea, Hibbertia, Wattle, yellow peas, Flying Duck Orchid, King-in-his Carriage and Rattle Beaks.
Get there: Walk trails begin within a short walk or drive from the centre of Margaret River. Stop in at the visitor centre and the team will point you in the right direction.
See: Deep Blue Karri Hovea, trailing Clematis, yellow Cone bush and Patersonia, Forest Mantis, Cowslip, Common Donkey and pink Fairy Orchids.
Get there: From Margaret River, travel south on Caves Road, which provides easy access to the forest. A visit to Mammoth Cave includes a scenic forest walk, and the cave guides will be happy to offer some tips on where to keep your eyes peeled.
See: Augusta Bee, Funnel Web Spider and Vanilla Orchids, Wisteria, Clematis, Coastal Pimelea and Fan flowers.
Get there: Travel south from Augusta via Blackwood Avenue. Parking is available at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.
- Enjoy a stretch of the Cape To Cape Track with Cape to Cape Explorer Tours’ Full Day Guided Hike. Learn the fascinating properties of the surrounding wildflowers, bush plants and geology of the area.
- Margaret River Discovery Co. offers the region’s only 4WD guided wildflower tour, followed by a wine tasting experience in a vineyard surrounded by wildflowers.
- Get off the beaten track with Margaret River Exposed, a tour which offers access to all the national parks in the South West and secluded spots rich in wildlife and wildflowers. Complementary photography tuition is included.
- Wander through stands of endemic orchids on the South West Eco Discoveries spring tour. Visit spectacular lookouts and iconic hotspots in the Dunsborough area.
- Discover wildflowers in style with Walk into Luxury, a complete luxury walking experience that showcases the best of the Cape to Cape track alongside the region’s fine wine, gourmet produce and luxury accommodation.
- Edgewalkers offers guided walking tours in Margaret River and along the Cape to Cape Track. Reconnect with nature on a half-day or full-day tour, or even a 3 day/2 night Cape to Cape Track adventure.
- Visit Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and its surrounding walk trails for the chance to see wildflowers in bloom on the cape as well as whales frolicking in the waters below. Truly a sight to behold!